Photo: DP World

DP World implements measures against COVID-19 to protect workers, ensure flow of essential trade

DP World
Image Courtesy: DP World

The UAE-based port operator DP World has implemented an action plan to secure the health and safety of its people and services across all the company’s business, logistics and supply chain assets in order to keep essential trade flowing amid the global pandemic.

As explained, the “comprehensive and inclusive measures” are being rigorously applied in close consultation with ports and health authorities to contain and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Many port and free zone operations, such as remotely operated quay cranes and automated gantry cranes and gates, are inherently resilient thanks to their investment in technology, according to DP World.

At the flagship hub of Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the focus is on securing the integrity and efficiency of the movement of vital supplies like food items, medicine and medical equipment required by the UAE and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to contain the infection.

DP World, UAE Region teams are now working on further improving the operational resilience with initiatives such as segregating workforces, increasing cleaning and disinfection, providing transportation to get employees to work through lockdowns, and arranging accommodation for employees near their place of work.

As the region’s busiest trade enabler, DP World, UAE Region said it has ensured continuity of services by encouraging most of its employees to work from home and installed thermal cameras at all operational buildings, entrances and gates to identify the body temperatures of individuals to facilitate the isolation of suspected COVID-19 cases.

“Our people are our most valuable assets and we put their safety and health as our top priority. The measures we’ve activated are focused on timely actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection,” Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza, commented.

“Our containment programme adheres strictly to the requirements of the UAE Government, Dubai Health Authority and the World Health Organization. We’ve sent out a clear message that social distancing is a critical demand and not an option for our community to remain safe.”

“As a frontline economic growth engine, DP World, UAE Region and its businesses are currently operating under the UAE’s coronavirus prevention & response plan along with business continuity plans that are customised for each operating entity. We have taken every measure we can to keep trade flowing because our nation needs the goods we are moving, such as food and medical supplies, to face the crisis,” he added.

“We’re working closely with all our stakeholders, especially companies in Jafza that provide essential services, to spread the awareness that preventive actions by individuals are as important as those taken by organisations. This is a time for collective action and we at DP World, UAE Region remain commit-ted to playing our role in the UAE’s drive against COVID-19.”

All COVID-19-related essentials such as identification of symptoms, emergency numbers, awareness and instructions are conveyed through desktop displays, emails, text messages, notices and flyers. As an added precaution, all fingerprint scanners have been deactivated to prevent accidental COVID-19 contamination by users. Social distancing is ensured during shift change, including on buses transporting staff.

What is more, complete management of disinfection and sanitisation has been implemented for all equipment, vehicles, offices and other physical assets throughout Jebel Ali Port, Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), Mina Rashid, P&O Marinas, Mina Al Hamriya, National Industries Park (NIP), Dubai Auto Zone, Dubai Trade and World Security.

All in-house canteens, food courts and restaurants within DP World, UAE Region’s premises are catering to delivery requests only. Isolation rooms have been identified in Jafza camps and all processes and procedures are in line with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) guidelines for dealing with such cases.

Ship crews, arriving or departing, are required to pass through thermal cameras, provide health updates and obtain the harbour master’s approval before boarding or deboarding vessels. Arrangements have been made to provide hospitalisation facilities for crewmembers if required.

Trained HSE teams and security personnel are deployed to maintain a close watch on the situation and ensure absolute compliance with the health and safety requirements of Dubai and the UAE, DP World further said.

The UAE has so far 4,123 confirmed coronavirus cases and 22 deaths, according to data provided by the country’s Ministry of Health & Prevention.